Landscape wire is usually utilized in the installation of landscape lighting. Wires are pretty much usable in various application, but for speakers ofcourse you’ll need to look for something specific.
Most speakers when purchased don’t come with wires that you can use to connect them to your intended system that’s why it’s not totally out of the norm to run into a question like;
“Can you use a landscape Wire For Speakers?”
Well the appropriate response to this question having gathered some experience is that;
Landscape wire can be used for speakers but it will be up to you to select the right size wire for your particular speakers. I recommend going for a 12 or 14 Gauge landscape wire for low-impedance (4 or 6 ohms) speakers and long wire runs. For basically shorter wire runs (about 50 feet or less) a 16 Gauge size wire will work just fine and this can also be applied to 8 ohm speakers.
Mostly, people will look to alternative speaker wires like landscape wire for instance because the standard speaker wires can be very expensive. Especially if you need to run it for a longer distance.
But before you crank out your credit card and start ordering your speaker wires, I’ll give you the same advice I give to most of my clients.
It makes better sense to invest in high quality speakers and worry about the wiring later, because no matter how exquisite and expensive your speaker wires are, what will determine the quality of the audio you get will be the quality of the speakers you purchase.
The myth of speaker wires
Here’s some more advice that will save you some money and headaches.
Upgrading your speaker wires, will usually have very little effect on the output audio you end up getting. Don’t fall for companies promising you magical results after purchasing their thousand dollar speaker wires.
So keep this in mind.
Back to the topic at hand
Wire size is basically identified by its American Wire Gauge(AWG). This is basically the thickness, and you’ll need to pay close attention to this because your particular speakers will determine what thickness size you’ll work with.
Speaker wire size will be determined by your stereo or amplifiers power output usually listed as Watts or RMS, the ohm rating or impedance of your speakers, and the general length that you need.
The general parameter to know is that the lower the gauge number, the thicker the wire. Thicker wires tend to present less resistance to to electric current flow.
Furthermore, the thicker the wire, the more current it can carry which means you’ll have to pay attention to the size of the wire and the load that you intend it to carry.
Another thing that you have to do when looking to use landscape wire for your speakers is to determine the length that you’ll need.
To typically do this, I usually run a string and measure how much wire I’ll need. I also recommend adding a few extra feet to the measurement that you determine, this is to basically give yourself some room just in case you have to re-arrange your receivers and amplifiers.
Also, you need enough wire so as to not have your connections too tightly set up because your wire is not long enough.
Gauge wire size for subwoofers
For subwoofers I generally recommend that you go for 12 gauge wire if you’re looking to run the speaker wire longer. A 16 gauge wire will work better if you intend to run the speaker wire shorter.
Is speaker wire different from regular wire?
Speaker wire is certainly different from regular wire because it carries current therefore it has to be heavier unlike regular wires that are not meant to carry current.
This is why landscape wire can be used for speakers because it is generally used for landscape lighting which requires wire that is able to carry the intended current.
Landscape wire will work just fine for your speakers so long as you can figure out the correct wire size you need for said speakers.
The outline on wire size above can be your guide line to picking the right landscape wire.